I have a lot of personality…um…weaknesses, we’ll call them. And you know that one of my biggest ones is being a horrible listener. I’m always trying to remember to listen and ask questions instead of just talk talk talk.
I went to a party recently where I was talking to lots of different people. But I felt like the Riddler…I was just firing question after question and getting these one-worded answers. They would also never ask me questions in return.
This is how a normal conversation goes, just to refresh your memory:
A: How are you?B: Great, how are you?A: Great! How was your weekend?B: Not too bad. We went out Friday, blah blah blah….how was yours?
And so forth. You give and take, you share a little, you listen more. You ask questions that will lead to thought-provoking questions or you answer with a good explanation even if the question isn’t so much thought-provoking. It’s human nature though, to think about your own situations before others. To want to share your stories before asking about others. And some people already are great listeners (like my Mom.) Keep it up! But for the rest of us…
…Here is my challenge to all of you for this week, you ready?
BE A LISTENER. ASK QUESTIONS FIRST!
Try it when your husband comes home from work. Ask him about his day before you go off about how exhausted you are. Next time you see a friend and ask them how they are, really listen and probe past the inevitable “good.” People love to be around people who listen to them! And maybe you’ll find yourself dwelling less on your problems or your relationships will be a little smoother. I’m going to try to make a concerted effort this week to try this and notice how things go. Who’s with me?